Another strange but wonderful week on my learning curve. In fact, the word curve doesn’t fit at all, it implies a gradual arc. An elevator, moving in the opposite direction to the one I am trying to reach, would be more descriptive of my learning efforts this last few weeks.
The ‘launch’ of “A Bed of Barley Straw” was a damp squid of an affair. It isn’t really possible to have a launch date when the best information you have is that your paperback will be available on Amazon within 5-8 days, and your Kindle is “in review”. Feeling game, I had a bash anyway. Platforms were ready and waiting. Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads duly set up, with author pages and bio pics, anticipating the arrival of the book. Friends connected, pages liked. Everything in place…except a launch date.
I tried to pitch a date a week later than the book should actually be ready. To allow myself time to build follower enthusiasm to fever pitch (please remember this blog is tongue in cheek) and to remedy inevitable mistakes I had made in the publish process. I also hoped my wonderful friends and family would all purchase the book on the same day, notching me momentarily up the seller charts (although I haven’t actually worked out what benefit there is in that yet. Everyone else seems to do it, so I guess there must be one.) Alas, I had underestimated the existing fever pitch of said friends and family. They were already there, on Amazon, checking every day. The texts and messages began flying in five days ahead of launch – “Your book is on Amazon!” And then one of them clicked ‘Add to Basket’.
Oh – the thrill! Oh – the fear!
My ‘March Royalty Balance’ on CreateSpace has a number beside it! (‘Print screen’, save in pictures). My mates are patiently awaiting launch, but someone has got there first. Ashamed of my devious shenanigans, I hit the phone and Facebook to let people know that the book was available NOW. Kindle version to follow, I would really like to be able to tell you when.
How strange it is when friends and acquaintances buy your book. They may love it or they may hate it. They might give up reading two chapters in because it isn’t their sort of book. The passionate scenes or the swearing might offend. Horror of horrors, they might believe I wrote from first-hand experience, and view me in an altogether different way from now on.
Pointless to worry of course, nothing to be done. And what actually happened was amazing and humbling. I have been tweeted, texted and Facebooked with excited images of Amazon deliveries and photographs of my book in other people’s hands. Congratulations cards and handwritten notes have been sent. Endless wonderful comments and enthusiastic reviews (which I now need to persuade people to post on Amazon or Goodreads, without being a nag). Several impromptu book signings featuring self-concious giggles. I have even had requests for the next book, and demands that I type fast! Time to re-visit my schedule; re-jig the hours devoted to marketing versus hours devoted to writing.
Second book, here I come.